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The Red Bird Airport Leads


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Thanks for posting this David,  just as a reference, we originally thought this monograph would appear on the MFF site but due to Rex being deeply immersed in document work and other scheduling issues we were extremely happy to have DPUK offer to serialize our work in their journal and to make it the piece available for download.  Our thanks to Bart for the web work and posting and to Dealey Plaza Echo editor Richard Lee-Van den Daele.

I've been really pleased to worked with so many members of the DPUK group over the years and I think Matthew Smith would also be pleased to see his original work carried forward in this new research paper.

 

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The Red Bird Lead article is fascinating. 

BTW, if anyone out there has more info on the "main character" in Red Bird, his name is Manuel Villafana, aka Manuel Villafana Martinez, please share. 

Unfortunately, a quick online search suggests Villafana has passed away. But perhaps someone has heard of him after 1968 in some context.  

 

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Congratulations to David and Larry for a significant piece of research. It certainly makes a lot of sense that DRE, on behest of CIA, would be tasked with painting Lee Oswald as a Castro sympathiser and a dangerous person. Members of DRE members were mostly Cubans and understood the working of both pro- and anti-Castro activists well enough to accomplish this part of the plot. The DRE interest in framing Oswald prior to assassination may be the reason for not releasing the CIA documents pertaining to DRE. If those documents were released, it would be much too clear that there were intelligence games, led by DRE and CIA, with Lee Oswald during the time leading to the assassination. How close and how far we are to reveal the truth!

Two points in this account are not clear to me. First, I thought that the airplane that departed from Red Bird airfield on Friday afternoon, November 22, was actually meant to transport assassination-related persons, possibly even Lee Oswald. This was perhaps the line of reasoning followed by Matthew Smith in his book Second Plot. The present account suggests that the airplane departed for an unrelated mission. This airplane was supposed to be revving on the tarmac for a long time as if it would be waiting for passengers.

The other unclear point is the absence of any mention of Sergio Arcacha Smith. I thought this was the person who spent time with Banister in 544 Camp Street during summer 1963 and was a member of DRE. Could he be one of the Cubans participating in painting Lee Oswald as pro-Castro sympathiser? 

 

  

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Andrej, Matthew did write about the aircraft being used for exfilitration but I think that had to be his speculation seeing as how January had not seen anyone board the aircraft or seen it actually depart.  Certainly it could have been used for that purpose but that would have been a high risk move given that ground holds might have been placed at local airports (they were not) or that warnings issued and searches conducted (Red Bird did receive a warning and at least one DPD officer working there related that - but once Oswald was in custody the pressure was off - if he had still been on the loose searches and security  might have quickly gotten really tight).

It would seem like breaking the tactical team up and sending them out in cars would be far safer, with as many back roads out of Dallas as their are that would have been much lower risk. 

As to other aircraft, the one you refer to revving its engine was a small single enginre plane, definitely not the much larger transport aircraft being transferred out of Dallas.  And there was a third plane that drew suspicion, flying out with four men and returning with three...that's an interesting story and I cover it in SWHT but it does not relate to the January incident.

As to Sergio Archaca Smith, he had been a CRC representative - not DRE - and with the virtual dissolution of that organization in 1963 plus a good bit of local gossip about his possibly scamming  donations to the cause, he left New Orleans that year and moved to Houston, taking a sales job.  Names from the DRE in New Orleans would be Bringuier and also Quiorga who approached Oswald as a Castro supporter to feel him out after his initial contact with the DRE. 

More interesting are the new Cubans reported in NO with Oswald, Garrison tried to investigate that, sending people to Miami to try and identify them.  Weisburg  really explored that as well.  David and I can name some of them, including Carlos and Victor Hernandez. 

Basically things had changed dramatically in the exile scene in Miami and New Orleans over a couple of years and I try to capture what was current and what had passed in Tipping Point. Its easy to get hung up on who was in, who was out and who was playing with who by the fall of 63.  As an example, Carlos Hernandez was associated with DRE military activities, with CIA maritime operations and also with a JURE affiliated group - tracking all of this by summer and fall of 1963 is an immense challenge.

Hope that helps, Larry

 

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Rick, I was at the Lancer conference when Vinson's attorney first showed up to present his story and was able to take copious notes....which turned out not exactly to match what showed up in later book.  I communicated with his lawyer directly for several years; he would never allow me to talk directly to Vinson even though Vinson would do television interviews.  

I prepared a list of questions for Vinson at that point,  researched several of his claims and ultimately when the book came out contacted his lawyer again (as the book offered) and asked if I could talk with him - the answer was not.  I asked if I could submit the questions in writing and he assured me I could and here would be a response.  I did - there was no response.

There are a number of problems with his basic story beyond the fact that he clearly confused his CIA screening with that which was done for all assignments to the CIA's SR-71 project - and assignment which he did get. 

Given that the sensitivities in Dallas after the assassination were enough that there were calls complaining that a single engine aircraft at Red Bird was reeving its engine I find it next to impossible that a four engine airport could land and take off at that point in time from a riverbed which runs right though downtown Dallas and not have it reported. 

I'm not sure what Vinson's basic experience was but I can say that literally nothing about it makes any sense in terms of covert operations and certainly not that he would be allowed to just walk away freely from the aircraft if the guys on board had just assassinated the President.

It certainly was an exciting and sensational story and it had me going for years....not unlike others of its ilk unfortunately.

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Rick/Larry I agree with Larry's post, I never gave the Vinson story any credence, the idea that a four engine aircraft could land in central Dallas in the dusty Trinity riverbed

and in the decades since have no witnesses to comment on such a strange event, closely following the assassination of the POTUS.  Never made any sense to me.

Whereas Mathew Smith's work on Redbird and January was always interesting.  I was at Lancer with Mathew in 2003, although at a DPUK meet back in England years later, Mathew swore blind he was not there in 2003.  I think the years were catching up on him by then, but we spoke for hours in York....loved the man & I got all his books signed. 

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Finally went back and read the last 30 pages of this.  Thinking outside the box here again, brainstorming, does the spaghetti maybe stick to the wall, a little of it sound reasonable?

What if.  The couple who approached January were handlers for Oswald and went back to the car and told him we have a deal to rent the plane.  After the assassination actually happened might Oswald have thought my only chance is to get to the Texas Theater, find my contact with the other half of this dollar bill, then get to Redbird.  And get the Hell out of Dallas?

A couple of other observations/comments later.

Thanks for your work gentlemen. 

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Ron,

That is a perfectly reasonable explanation. The couple who approached Oswald may have only been aware of their task, not the big picture.

Oswald's Texas Theater contact may have been an SAS (Special Affairs Staff) asset. Possibly this guy?

660897902_CarlosHernandez01.thumb.png.14b56a9db75c79c7248addee7275d4db.png

 

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On 2/2/2022 at 3:39 PM, David Boylan said:

This is a follow up on the work previously done by British researcher Matthew Smith.

Another fine example of the FBI stirring the pot of Dealey Plaza with their interpretation of events.  Another example of the FBI altering records.

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On 2/11/2022 at 1:45 PM, Larry Hancock said:

Given that the sensitivities in Dallas after the assassination were enough that there were calls complaining that a single engine aircraft at Red Bird was reeving its engine I find it next to impossible that a four engine airport could land and take off at that point in time from a riverbed which runs right though downtown Dallas and not have it reported. 

I seem to recall that road work was going on at North Houston down by the river at the same time the assassination occurred.  A plane could land there.  A DC3, a WWII plane made to land on a short, grassy field, could have done that.  This is complicated by no one seeing or remembering a plane landing there.  Doesn't mean one didn't. 

  

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3 hours ago, David Boylan said:

Ron,

That is a perfectly reasonable explanation. The couple who approached Oswald may have only been aware of their task, not the big picture.

Oswald's Texas Theater contact may have been an SAS (Special Affairs Staff) asset. Possibly this guy?

660897902_CarlosHernandez01.thumb.png.14b56a9db75c79c7248addee7275d4db.png

 

David, I see no name on this and don't recognize him myself.  Who is he?

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4 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

John, just for reference the aircraft Vinson claimed to be on was large, four engine transport aircraft - a C-54, even unloaded its weight was around 39,000 pounds 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_C-54_Skymaster

 

Thanks Larry,

It's hard to see such a large plane landing in a grassy field or roughed out unpaved road.  The C-54 was probably too large to land on the unfinished road at North Houston down by the river.  Whenever I think of airplanes landing in grassy fields or rough areas I think of the DC3.  It was a plane built in the 1930s and used for the next 80 years.  Dope runners found it particularly useful in smuggling dope.

Thanks again.  

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